Vervain - In the Wild - June

Plant Magic: A Year of Green Wisdom for Pagans & Wiccans - Sandra Kynes 2017

In the Wild

(Verbena officinalis)

*Also known as common verbena, Druid’s weed, enchanter’s plant, simpler’s joy, and verbena

Vervain is a sprawling, branching plant that can grow one to three feet tall and wide. The deeply lobed leaves are heavily veined and toothed. Small lavender or pinkish flowers grow on upward-curving stems. The flowers are unscented. Introduced into North America by early settlers, vervain can be found along roadsides, in pastures, and in wastelands.

Although this is an unassuming plant, the Greeks, Romans, Celts, and others held it in high regard. The Egyptians considered it an ancient herb, and according to legend, it came from the tears of Isis as she wept for Osiris. In addition to purifying temples and homes with it, the Romans used it medicinally. In medieval times, witches were said to have employed vervain in love potions and in charms to ward off hexes. This plant was also known as simpler’s joy. In the past, remedies made with one herb were called simples.

Along with meadowsweet and water mint (Mentha aquatica), vervain was one of the three most sacred herbs for ancient Druids. According to Welsh legend, it was an ingredient in Cerridwen’s cauldron.

Use long stems of vervain to energetically sweep your ritual and magic space or other areas to remove any form of negativity. Place leaves on your altar to bless the space and empower your rituals. Make an infusion of the leaves to consecrate ritual and divination tools. Place a sachet of dried flowers under your pillow to aid in dream work. This will also encourage dreams of prophecy and help banish nightmares. Grow vervain or scatter dried leaves on your property to attract abundance.

Vervain is associated with the elements air, earth, and fire. Its astrological influence comes from Venus. This plant is associated with the following deities: Cerridwen, Demeter, Diana, Epona, Hermes, Isis, Juno, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Persephone, Thor, and Venus.